Mike O’Connor (www.fineartofstorytelling.com) was listening to a photography portfolio review, as he often does, when he had a revelation. Something was missing, and the concrete faces of the reviewers around him confirmed it. The photographers just weren’t connecting with the reviewers/Gallery Representatives. Drawing from decades of corporate art sales and presentation skills workshop expertise, Mike created a series of presentations which empower photographers and artists to connect with buyers using the most effective presentation tool of all: their own story. His signature program The Fine Art of Storytelling combines humor, proven methodology and a passion for individual development to transform the presentation skills of artists and gallery owners alike. Mike has shared these presentations throughout the country, including LACP, and to photographers of all career levels. As an artist representative for many years, Mike is no stranger to the challenges of having others see your work the same way you do. He is also a seasoned financial services trainer, a role that has taken him around the nation leading workshops. He combines this dual expertise to deliver a methodology that cuts through technical jargon and straight to the heart of collectors. A longtime supporter of the arts community, Mike also volunteers his expertise at museums and art organizations around the country. Mike has been a contributing Faculty member of the “Kipaipai” workshops since the inception. Work closely with Mike to implement personalized best practices for presenting your portfolio with confidence and authenticity. Mike is also a frequent presenter at the “Live Moth” events throughout Los Angeles in order to keep his storytelling skills well honed.
LACP Interviews Mike O'Connor
LACP asks Mike O’Connor questions about his background, career in and beliefs about photography
Los Angeles Center of Photography: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to Coaching/Teaching?
Mike O’Connor: The first time I was thanked by an Artist I coached (informal session, more of a few suggestions), who changed her presentation and found immediate success!!
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a Coach/Teacher?
MO: Nothing, all rewarding.
LACP: What have you gained by being a Coach/Teacher?
MO: The satisfaction of watching artists and Photographers (and all my other groups) make changes in their presentation to become more effective thus derive more success. Then they want more, after they send all their friends to me.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
MO: “Present Yourself Effectively by Finding Your Story”
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
MO: Being a part of the positive change in Photographers/Artists presentations and Reviews. The satisfaction of watching them go deep inside to find their story and overcome their fear of public speaking and become anxious to deliver it.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
MO: If this is your Passion…DO IT!!!! Although make sure you are in it for the right reason. If it is the money, prepare to “Wait in line”, become bored, waste your time and ultimately Fail. If it is your passion, know WHY it is your passion and carry that through each body of work you do. Learn to know that story and deliver it effectively!